A more flexible classification for time-use statistics

An expert group meeting will take place in New York from 11-13 June to finalize the Trial International Classification of Activities for Time-Use Statistics (ICATUS).

The purpose of the trial classification is to assist countries interested in embarking on time-use studies by providing the structure of a classification which could be adapted to national circumstances and facilitate international comparisons. This trial international classification can be used by both developing and developed countries in their time-use surveys.

Classification of activities for time-use statistics was first flagged at the 28th session of the Statistical Commission in 1995. By 1997, the UN Statistics Division had convened its first expert group meeting to prepare a draft classification.

Based on the experience of countries who used or adapted this classification, as well as on recommendations from a second expert group meeting organized in 2000, a revised version was issued and published in the ‘Guide to Producing Statistics on Time Use: Measuring Paid and Unpaid Work (United Nations, 2005’) entitled ‘UN Trial International Classification of Activities for Time-Use Statistics (ICATUS)’.

This June expert group meeting, organized by the UN DESA’s Statistics Division, will bring together around 20 national and international experts to discuss and agree on several topics including:

  • the updates of the current categories;
  • the consistency of ICATUS with the new international standards classification;
  • the treatment of more complex aspects (categories such as “looking for work” or “waiting”);
  • the mapping (correspondence tables) between ICATUS and other existing classifications.

The final agreed classification will be presented to the UN Statistical Commission for endorsement in 2013, after review by the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications.

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/newsletter/globalstat_unsd_calendar.htm